By Clinton Dick
For those who don’t know, the race for the United States President has pretty much been narrowed down to two candidates. Rick Santorum dropped out of the campaign earlier this week, leaving a clear path for opponent Mitt Romney to take the Republican nomination. Now, Romney takes on current President Barack Obama in what will shape up to be the usual back and forth slugfest for the Oval Office.
What does that mean for all of the lovely people who are going to vote in the November election? For starters, it means that those of us who actually make the effort to send in our vote somehow have to make an educated decision on who we are putting in the White House. The ironic part out of all of this is that doing just that sounds a lot easier than it actually is.
Politics has evolved into something so outrageous that we either do not want to pay attention to it, or simply cannot follow it because everywhere we turn there is contrasting information that gets lost in a conundrum of lies and persuasive techniques to sway us to vote a certain way. There is no such thing as an “educated” voter anymore because the truth is lost in candidate mud-slinging. No matter what, there is always someone or something new to blame in politics, followed by a promise to make things better; a promise that isn’t going to be met by any standards. These days it seems if a person has a pretty face and is smart enough to out-slap their opponent, they are set for politics
Let us look, for example, at the Republican debate earlier this year in Arizona. During a heated debate between Santorum and Romney over government earmarks, Santorum was quick to try to knock down Romney by saying, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but,” before Romney chimed in with a humorous tone, “I’ve heard that line before.” Santorum proceeded to say, “You are misrepresenting the facts. You don’t know what you are talking about,” followed by boos from the crowd. So, who do we as voters believe? Obviously there is “misrepresentation” of the facts somewhere.
There is a lack of voter turnout recently. Maybe the blame for people not voting is in large part due to the idea that there is a lack of truth. Maybe we aren’t comfortable with putting someone in the White House who is quick to make excuses for why this happened, or why that isn’t working. Maybe we don’t want to take the time or have the energy to research hours and hours about each candidate for presidency just to find that what really happens behind the political screen will never be revealed. Political figures can advertise on television, radio, print media and, of course, the vast world of the internet. However, it is all the same no matter where we go: mud-slinging and vague promises of change on every media avenue.
We, as American citizens, need to stay informed and must ensure that we put the right person in the White House come November. Is that even possible? The answer will always be no unless we try. The next few months are going to be full of political ads and debates that are going to overwhelm our mind and test our patience. Somehow, someway we have to sift through all of the chaos to find the answer. It isn’t going to be easy and politics isn’t making it any easier, but when that happens, make sure to mark it down on the ballot. Hopefully, the right choice is made.
Clinton Dick is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.